034: How to Get the Help Your Child with ADHD Needs in School

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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School struggles are one of the leading causes of parent and child stress in families with kids with ADHD. In this episode of the Parenting ADHD Podcast, I share some red flags that your child may need extra help and support in the classroom, outline the steps parents should follow to request services and accommodations at school, and explain the basic differences between a 504 Plan and an IEP.

* Please note: Nothing in this episode or in this post constitutes legal advice. I am not an attorney. Always consult an attorney for interpretation of and guidance on the law.


Some of the resources may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, by Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright

What to Expect When Parenting Kids with ADHD, by Penny Williams (there's a full chapter on school rights and accommodations)

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If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

Share your thoughts.

  • I loved this podcast but would REALLY like to have it & others in written form as a reference. The text route seems to help my more visually-oriented learners/parents since often they have ADHD as well, & they are already trying to get so much paper together to prepare for these school meetings. It is also helpful for those who are hearing impaired & can't listen to the podcast.

    Thank you for ALL that you do & offer 🙂

    Lise Klerekoper, LCSW, MAC, PLLC (therapist, mom w/ ADHD, mother of 3 kids ages 18-24 who ALL have ADHD)

    • Unfortunately, transcripts of spoken word aren't readable without several hours of editing. That's prohibitive for offering transcripts for every weekly episode. I will try to do written transcripts on those that are packed with reference information, like this one.

  • I appreciate that Penny, especially for those that are hearing impaired & lose out of the benefit of excellent podcasts like yours. If you do end up getting any of the podcasts in written form, how will you let readers of your blog know? I'm particularly interested in this one for obvious reasons. Thank you

  • I really appreciated the info in this podcast. I have become very familiar with the IEP process and team in our home school district. But do you have any advice for moving out of state? I want to pick a neighborhood based on the school district’s proficiency with ADHD/autism kiddos. I know the sites that rank schools are usually basing scores on “mainstream” education. And no one at the schools will tell me anything until I enroll and request an evaluation…. Any tips or resources you can offer? I’m planning a move to Durham, NC from a suburb of Chicago. Thanks!

    • The best way to find out if a school is good for kids with ADHD/autism is to talk with other parents of kids with ADHD /autism in the area. It's really the only way to get the full picture. I have met with a public school before enrolling my son. I met with the special education teacher and talked about how he would address my sons's struggles. It was very helpful.

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